This food labelling guidance developed by labelling experts, Safer Food Scores, will help ensure your company’s compliance with Natashas Law.
Natashas Law is the name given to a change in the UK’s Food Information Regulations. Its main effect is that food pre-packaged on the same site that it is supplied is no longer exempt from the need for a food label. The change in the law resulted from a UK-wide consultation which followed the tragic death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse. Natasha died as a result of an allergic reaction to a baguette she had eaten, which did not display allergen information on the packaging.
Natashas Law comes into effect on 1st October 2021. There has been a two-year lead in period to help businesses prepare for the new requirements.
If you have not labelled PPDS (pre-packaged for direct sale) foods on site, Trading Standards or Environmental Health Officers may provide advice, serve an improvement notice or prosecute a business. They should follow a risk based and proportionate approach to gain compliance.
A more serious offence is to label a food incorrectly, especially if allergens are missing from the ingredients list and an allergic incident occurs. Enforcement officers are likely to take formal action in these cases which could result in seizure, prosecution, unlimited fines, and imprisonment.
The team at Safer Food Scores include food labelling experts who can examine your Natasha’s Law food labels, explain if any changes are required, and provide a report for your due diligence. If you have not yet devised your labels, our food labelling experts can instead examine your recipes or product specifications and advise what you need to include on the label.
Natashas Law applies to any food business that pre-packs food on the same site that it is offered or sold e.g, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, street vendors, butchers, bakers, grocers, schools, colleges, nurseries, staff canteens, care homes.
Natashas Law applies to foods which are pre-packed for direct sale (often referred to as PPDS foods). To meet this definition, food must be packaged at the same place it is offered or sold to consumers and must be in this packaging before it is ordered or selected. It can include food that consumers select themselves (e.g. from a display unit), as well as products kept behind a counter.
For Natashas Law to apply, the packaging must enclose the food completely or only partially, but in any event in such a way that the contents cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging.
Foods exempt from Natashas Law include:
This is a useful decision tree from the Food Standards Agency to help determine whether your food products will require labelling.
To ensure that you comply with Natashas Law, any foods pre-packed for direct sale must be labelled with:
The font size of mandatory information must be at least 1.2 mm x-height if the surface area of the pack is equal or greater than 80cm², otherwise it can be 0.9 mm x-height
Packaging with a surface area of less than 10cm² does not require a full ingredient list but does require allergen labelling.
This Natashas law food labelling guidance, should help you to understand what is required. If you would like to improved your due diligence by using our label check service, please contact Safer Food Scores